Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shanies: Biggest Dissapointment

For any of you longer term readers, you may remember me making the argument that the Gorillaz 2001 self-titled release was one of the top albums of the noughties (2000-2009).  I still would defend the argument that this album was one of the most influential pieces of work to come out of the decade.  However, one of the things I hate the most in this world is betrayal.  As such, you can imagine that after the release of Plastic Beach, Damon Albarn and the rest of his long armed cartoons, have fallen out of my favour and the Gorillaz, have dropped more than a few rungs on the ladder of musical awesomeness.

So, why was Plastic Beach so bad?  Part of it was definitely that the incredible pieces of work that preceded would have made anything seem abysmal by comparison.  Still, that same argument could have been made about Demon Days, yet it was fantastic.  Part of it could have been that the group became too caught up in the gimmickry of it all and departed from the importance of the music (just look at the video below... 3D rendered animation and Bruce Willis... necessary?).

However, I would argue that Albarn was simply trying too hard.  He's dug a musical hole in his mind so deep that he couldn't possibly escape himself.  Listening to the album again from start to finish, this record contains no singles, and barely any moments of catchy hooks.  In short... they made a pop record without making it popular.  The record is exceptionally diverse and contains a huge variety of sounds, instruments, guest appearances and concepts.  Yet, somewhere in all of this noise, the primates appear to have forgotten to actually write songs.

Fortunately, after this disappointment, Albarn et al. are considering retirement.

-I hear it again, I heart it again... you're always screaming in my sleep